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Doctors' surgery move to Trimsaran Leisure Centre is a hit, despite concerns

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: April 24, 2013

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DOCTORS have insisted that a GP surgery which has moved into Trimsaran Leisure Centre is going well — despite concerns it would be "second rate".

Dr Dundrow and Partners relocated from Dr Barrie Williams's Derwendeg Medical Centre to the leisure centre last month, after a decision was made to axe the library and replace it with a surgery.

And both they and bosses at the centre say the move has been a success, in spite of worries aired back in February by Mr Williams, who warned the location was unsuitable.

Centre manager Margaret McIntosh said: "It's going really well, and we don't know they are here as they have got their own corridor and three rooms.

"You see a lot of people coming in and out, and it is bringing quite a lot of passing business in for the cafe — there have been no complaints about it."

Ward councillor Meryl Gravell added: "Things seem to have gone fairly smoothly, we have had no negative reports about it.

"There is far more room for parking — the feedback is that it is lovely and warm and some people go to the cafe for a cup of tea while they are there."

Mr Williams, who retired as a GP in 2007 and leased the surgery, had told the Star he felt the move would cause trouble with patient privacy, and that shared toilets between leisure centre and surgery users was less than ideal.

Hywel Dda Health Board, which supported the change, insisted the space had been totally refurbished to ensure it was fit-for-purpose, and that patient privacy had been accounted for, with improved parking facilities.

Disappointed

But Mr Williams remains unconvinced by the new location.

"I'm very disappointed," he said last week.

"The whole thing seemed a bit cloak and dagger, and was not brought out in the open.

"It's funded by rate payers and the facilities should be for them.

"I can't blame the doctors for that, they are allowed to do it, but it will still use up part of a facility that could have been used by other people. It's going to be the mother and toddler groups that'll lose out."

Mr Williams said the Heol Llanelli building — which has been used for medical purposes over generations — would now be turned into a house.

"I have got no choice," he said.

"I still own the building, I am going to go back to planning for a change of use to a domestic dwelling now — probably a bungalow.

"It's a shame, I bought the surgery from a previous doctor and the tradition was for it to remain a doctor's, but that will change for good now."

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